Domestic argument style

So when you and your SO approach a disagreement how do you typically proceed? Do you often respond in tone proportionally, or are you more apt to escalate or de-escalate? Does your style of argumentation make a difference if it’s a major thing (to you at any rate) as opposed to a minor thing?

I’m more of a screamer/yeller (I’m Italian after all!). I like to get it all out and then be done with it. I rarely stay mad for days on end. My husband shuts down. He’ll hold a grudge for days, which in turn just makes me angrier. He’ll mope around the house not talking, sitting in another room away from me. To me that’s childish. But that’s him. He’s also more apt to argue or get upset over minor things where I can blow them off. In other words, I’d rather not fight.

We are both able to apologize, which I guess is what really matters.

Mrs. Cardigan is a lawyer who is both a yeller and a Socratic interrogator. At first I used to try to angrily ‘argue’ with her but quickly found out she’s a much better debater than I’ll ever be. The only successful defense I’ve found thus far is to immediately respond to any angry grievance from her with (what appears to be) a complete capitulation:* “yes, you’re completely right and I’m wrong. There is no legitimacy to my position and it is utterly indefensible, and I’m very sorry. You win and I lose. End of story. Are we done arguing now so I can back to what I’m doing?”* And then simply refuse to give her the argument she’s dying for at that moment. Much later on, I can revisit the issue and usually get satisfactory resolution when she’s not in an angry/bad mood.

After 27 years of marriage, my wife and I agree on most things with very little discussion. On the rare occasions where we disagree, we tend to defer to whichever of the two of us feels most strongly about whatever the issue is. On those very, very few occasions where we still can’t agree, our tone with each other can become a little sharper, and we’re more likely to be a bit sarcastic with each other, but we can still talk it through and figure out a solution. We’ve never had a shouting match about anything, and we try to follow Ann Landers’s timeless advice of “never going to bed angry with each other.”

I am very logical and not prone to dramatics. But I also stick to my guns when I truly believe I’m in the right, so the concept of “compromise” can be difficult! It’s taken me many, many years of unproductive arguing to start to understand what is and isn’t worth arguing about (conclusion: most things are not worth arguing about.)

My husband is pretty cool, calm and collected most of the time but he hoards grievances. Like, on the rare occasion that we have a big argument he will pull all sorts of unrelated stuff out of the air and it confuses me… why is that relevant? what are we even talking about anymore? did this really bother him or is he just bringing it up because he’s flailing?

It can be frustrating for me but we’ve talked about it a bunch of times and we both try to be better about really listening to each other and avoiding arguments in the first place :slight_smile:

My husband and I have the same “argument style.” When I get upset I just want to go off and not talk to him until I calm down, because I’m scared if I speak too soon I’ll say something hurtful. Same with him, and I must say it’s a relief that he understands why I don’t want to talk and doesn’t try to talk to me before I’m ready.

A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Ten years in, a script to our arguments is emerging. Person 1 says something that rubs person 2 the wrong way. Person 2 may or may not openly declare the grievance, but it’s understood that it exists. Person 1 defends him or herself. Person 2 stalks away to be alone for a while. Eventually person 1 seeks him or her out, by which time we’ve both gained some clarity on our positions. Some earnest and brave things are said in not-really-calm but not-raised voices. We come to understand each other’s positions and find a compromise. Much hugging.

Me and Mr.Wrekker don’t argue often. Never have. The last argument we had was about Trump, of all things. Neither of us likes him much, but for some reason when I laughed out loud at something he said in one the debates. He thought I wasn’t taking the election seriously and was being flippant. The argument lasted a whole commercial break. Weird. 2 years ago if you told me my husband and I would argue over an election I would of laughed at you.

Are Person 1 and 2’s roles interchangeable between the two of you?

We have disagreements in which we will each make our points, but we don’t really have arguments and we’ve never had a disagreement in which anyone yells. Usually, the person who gets their way is the person who cares more about the particular topic. On occasions when we’re both in a bad mood, we may get pissy with each other, but we both make a point of apologizing in the end. The closest we got to a yelling argument was when we were both drunk and it was about which direction we should walk to most quickly get to our apartment from the Metro station. We ended up taking a cab and still laugh about it 15 years later.

I wrote my comment before I read yours, but it’s almost exactly the same for us.

Yes. That’s why I wrote it the way I did.

Oh, my guy and I are masters at arguments. As in, he doesn’t raise his voice and I make sure not to take anything personally. Most of the time, this works out fine. Someone misunderstands something, we get nervous for a moment while we discuss it, and then suddenly we’re okay again.

We used to argue, but it became clear pretty quick that it really does no good if one of us gets upset. I mean, continue to bring up disagreements! That’s key to a working relationship.